The European Commission has prepared a workplan for 2017-2020, describing how it will implement the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. It reflects recommendations from recent independent evaluations, and political guidance from EU Member States. The workplan is intended to improve strategic planning for the effective implementation of FLEGT, including priority actions. It is being developed in the context of broader debates on how to deliver EU action on deforestation.
We believe the objectives and priority actions of the workplan are broadly relevant, and support its increased focus on governance objectives. The workplan incorporates several recommendations from civil society stakeholders. These include strengthening support to forest law enforcement, governance, and legal reforms and timber supply chains in timber producing countries. Such an increase in support would be in accordance with the thematic priorities established in the FLEGT Action Plan including multi-stakeholder participation, transparency and accountability, capacity, and coherence of regulatory frameworks.
The proposed emphasis on ensuring better synergies between EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) implementation and FLEGT support to timber producing countries, and stepping up cooperation with other major consumer and processing countries is also a step in the right direction.
Fern and its Southern civil society partners ask that all relevant stakeholders are involved in monitoring and evaluating progress with the European Commission workplan at EU level and that proper follow up consultations on the future of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) are conducted at country level